Non-Residential Students Considered Guests to Ramapo Campus

Dear Editor:

My name is Michael Fleischmann, secretary of Commuter Affairs. I saw Monika Lasocha’s article, “Ramapo Commuters Don’t Measure Up to Residents,” in the Ramapo News late last month. Monika wrote about several policies in the Guide to Community Living that she strongly felt limited the college experience for commuters.

To be specific, she was upset that commuters have to fill out a Guest Registration Form to be on campus overnight. She was disappointed to see that commuter students are referred to as guests. In fact, commuter students are listed first in the examples of who classifies as a guest. She was upset that commuters have to stay with their host at all times. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, she was very displeased to know that her Ramapo commuter ID is not a form of acceptable identification for Residence Life. In fact, commuter students’ IDs are listed first in the examples of unacceptable identification.

Being with your host at all times only applies in the residence halls for liability purposes. According to Dr. Chang, commuters cause many of the liabilities that occur at campus residence halls. Commuters are able to study in the library and attend campus-sponsored after hours events without getting a ticket, provided that it is not an unreasonable hour, such as 3 a.m. I have often been on campus around 11 p.m. or midnight. I have never received a ticket at these times.

I spoke with Shekeitha Jeffries, a representative from Residence Life, about the commuter ID not being an acceptable form of identification for the residence halls. Her response was that Residence Life has the responsibility to keep track of all of its residents. The commuter ID does not give Residence Life any information about a commuter, such as if a student is banned from the residence halls. Student IDs are used for many identification-related purposes, including checking out a book and swiping for meals. However, Residence Life stated that a state-issued photo identification card like a driver’s license is needed for the desk attendants. Dr. Chang will look into this matter.

After reading Monika’s article, I was very displeased that some commuters are dissatisfied with the previously mentioned college policies. It is important for all students to express what is on their minds in a civil and respectful manner. Not speaking up leads to the false impression that everything is fine.

There are many resources, programs and staff members at Ramapo that are there to promote a sense of community among commuters. I invite all commuters, and even residents, to join Commuter Caucus, the advocacy and programming committee for commuter students. The caucus has done great work in the past, such as arranging to have temporary housing for commuters during inclement weather. The housing has been partially subsidized by the Center for Student Involvement (CSI).

Additionally, we have the Commuter Connections program, which allows first-year commuter students to become acquainted with each other and the campus as a whole. Each week, a speaker comes in to inform commuters about how their office serves students. Past speakers include Chief Markowski from Public Safety, as well as a representative from the library. Another event that we hold is the Commuter Luncheon with administrators. Commuters have the unique opportunity to meet with administrators such as the Director of Student Success and Director of Career Development Center in an informal setting. There are also professional staff members in CSI to complement these administrators.

As Secretary of Commuter Affairs, it is my responsibility to represent all of the commuter needs at Ramapo. I am a commuter and a transfer student myself. I know firsthand the disadvantages and difficulties that can arise, both academically and socially. I invite all commuters, full-time or part-time, traditional or non-traditional, to write to me with any ideas, suggestions or concerns that you may have. My e-mail is I am looking forward to hearing from you.